Visit the Heritage Center This Summer

If you’re looking for someplace to beat the heat while you’re out and about in downtown Murfreesboro this summer, be sure to stop by the Heritage Center of Murfreesboro and Rutherford County. Located at 225 West College Street, the Heritage Center houses exhibits about the history of Murfreesboro and Rutherford County. A new exhibit incorporating a recently donated butter churn (pictured) is in progress, so look for it in the coming months. Also, be sure to check out our brochure rack to pick up local driving and walking tours, as well as literature about nearby historic sites.

New Exhibits at the Historic Rhea County Courthouse

As part of the renovations to the historic Rhea County Courthouse, the Center for Historic Preservation recently unveiled a new exhibit on the history of the county, including the Strawberry Festival, Native communities, industrial transformations, and the Scopes Trial. This twelve-panel exhibit will be on display throughout the main floors of the courthouse. This project grew out of a Heritage Development Plan created by graduate students in Dr. Van West’s historic preservation class in the spring of 2017 at the request of the Rhea County Historical Society. In addition to this new exhibit and physical renovations to help preserve the building, the Courthouse’s existing museum on the Scopes Trial has been updated with new exhibits designed by Advent.

Teaching with Primary Sources – MTSU Kicks Off the Summer

Teaching with Primary Sources–MTSU kicks off its busy summer professional development schedule with the second annual “Teaching History Today: Content and Strategies for U.S. and World History” mini-conference on June 4th at the McWherter Learning Resource Center on the MTSU campus. The MTSU History Department is collaborating with TPS-MTSU to offer four content sessions by MTSU History Department faculty: Dr. Mary Evins, Dr. Yuan-ling Chao, Dr. Sean Foley, and Dr. Susan Myers-Shirk. The day will also feature strategy and resource sessions by Dr. Andrew Polk (MTSU History Department), Sarah Calise and Donna Baker (Albert Gore Research Center), and our TPS-MTSU staff. The MTSU Center for Educational Media will be recording the day’s sessions for inclusion in their online programming.

The inaugural “Teaching History Today” professional development mini-conference in 2017 reached teachers from across middle Tennessee and included lecturers such as MTSU’s Dr. Amy Sayward, shown here. This year’s “Teaching History Today” will build on last year’s event and bring in new lecturers and partners.

Check out the summer workshop schedule for more opportunities to learn with TPS!

Spring 2018 Common Bond

Check out the latest news from the Center for Historic Preservation in our spring newsletter, out now! Catch up with former students, learn about upcoming and ongoing projects, and stay connected to all of our special programming by signing up for our e-mail list to receive Common Bond right to your inbox.

Melrose High School Heritage Room

A member of the Orange Mound community in Memphis poses with a new history exhibit at Melrose High School. Center for Historic Preservation Fieldwork Coordinator Savannah Grandey and Dr. Katie O’Bryan, a former graduate research assistant at the Center, recently traveled to Memphis to install the exhibit at the school. Orange Mound is a Preserve America neighborhood with a rich education, religious, architectural, sports, and music history. Thank you to the Orange Mound community for sharing your memories and places with us.

Walter Brewer Bemis Community Center Dedication

The Center for Historic Preservation would like to congratulate the Walter Brewer Bemis Community Center (WBBCC) on the dedication of its building. The new community center is housed in the historic West Bemis Rosenwald School outside of Jackson, Tennessee, in a former textile mill community. The CHP’s research professor, Dr. Stacey Graham, and director, Dr. Carroll Van West, along with undergraduate student Tara Salvati, worked with the community center’s leadership as part of our Professional Services Partnership Program to develop exhibits for the community center’s heritage room. The dedication ceremony on April 14th included remarks by Dr. Graham as well as Mayor Jerry Gist and County Mayor Jimmy Harris, in addition to WBBCC board members and namesake Pastor Walter Brewer of West Bemis Missionary Baptist Church. The community center will provide a space for youth activities, tutoring, meetings, and special events.

Rock of Ages Wins Award of Excellence

At its recent annual conference, the Tennessee Association of Museums conferred an Award of Excellence on “Rock of Ages: East Tennessee’s Marble Industry,” a temporary exhibition at the Museum of East Tennessee History that was curated by Center for Historic Preservation digital humanities research fellow Dr. Susan Knowles.  You can read more about Dr. Knowles’s marble research in posts she has written for our Southern Rambles blog about the marble industry and its artisans.

 

 

Soulsville USA Brochure

The Soulsville USA driving/walking tour brochure is now available! Download it or contact us to get a copy. One of Memphis’s oldest neighborhoods, Soulsville USA is immersed in the nation’s civil rights, music, and religious history. The neighborhood was home to many​ famous individuals and institutions, including Ida B. Wells, Lucie Campbell, Dr. Christopher Roulhac (whose home is shown here), LeMoyne-Owen College, and Mason Temple.

Memphis Heritage Trail Driving Tour

Be sure to get a copy of the Memphis Heritage Trail driving tour brochure! This new publication recognizes the significant contributions of African Americans who helped shape the rich business, cultural, and musical heritage of the city of Memphis. The tour features four historic loops–Civil Rights, Business-Entertainment, Commerce, and Residential–as well as other sites of interest. The driving tour brochure was completed by the Center in partnership with the Memphis Heritage Trail and the City of Memphis, including the Division of Housing and Community Development. Dr. Carroll Van West and Savannah Grandey led the Center’s project team, which also included graduate research assistants Kelli Gibson and Victoria Hensley.

Apply for Professional Services Partnerships for 2018-2019

Our 2017-2018 Professional Services Projects included a partnership to create interpretive materials for three historic African American cemeteries in Knox County.

Does your historic site or organization have a great idea that you’d like some professional help with? The Center for Historic Preservation at Middle Tennessee State University is excited to announce that we are taking applications for our next round of Professional Services Partnerships. These partnerships provide communities with an opportunity to take advantage of our professional staff and graduate research assistants’ knowledge and expertise at no cost. Potential projects cover a wide range of possibilities, including driving tours, historic structure reports, exhibitions, preservation plans, and publications.

Proposals are accepted annually, and the 2018 deadline is June 1. For more information and to download the application form, see our Web site. Applicants will be informed of their status by the beginning of August 2018, and the new projects will begin later that month.

Our 2017-2018 Professional Services Partnership Projects have taken us across the state, and we are currently wrapping up projects in partnership with communities in all three grand divisions. In East Tennessee, we are collaborating with Knox Heritage and the West View Community Action Group to create interpretive materials for three historic African American cemeteries in Knox County. Also in East Tennessee, we are partnering with Crossroads Downtown Partnership, the Main Street program for the city of Morristown, to design a walking and driving tour of local historic resources.

In Middle Tennessee, staff and students are assisting Wolf Gap Education Outreach in assessing the historic resources of Giles County in an effort to identify sites with educational and interpretive potential. In northern Middle Tennessee, we are working with the Upper Cumberland Development District and Clay County community rmembers to develop an exhibition about the county’s history, which will be displayed in the historic Clay County Courthouse. This project follows up on a heritage development plan completed by the Center in 2011.

In West Tennessee, we are partnering with the Walter Brewer Bemis Community Center to create a heritage room that will interpret and house artifacts related to the historic community associated with the former West Bemis Rosenwald School that now houses the community center. This partnership will fulfill part of a heritage development plan completed for the community by Center staff and students in 2014. In addition, Center director and state historian Dr. Carroll Van West has been working extensively with partners in Memphis to create interpretive products to have ready for the 50th anniversary of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., this spring. Dr. West, staff, and students have created driving tours, exhibitions, and publications for several Memphis partners, including the Memphis Heritage Trail, Soulsville USA, and the Universal Life Insurance Company.

For more information about the Center for Historic Preservation’s Professional Services Partnerships, please contact Antoinette van Zelm or Lydia Simpson at the Center. They can be reached via e-mail (Antoinette.vanzelm@mtsu.edu or Lydia.simpson@mtsu.edu) or phone (615-898-2947).